manual focus in Nikon D3000

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by EricaRie, May 20, 2010.

  1. EricaRie

    EricaRie TPF Noob!

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    I've been told in some of my photos that my eyes are sharp and focused enough, and to fix this I should switch to manual focus vs AF.

    I tried, but I don't know how to select the "focus" in manual focus. Can someone help me? I don't get the green/red boxes to show me what is going to be the focus in my photo.
     
  2. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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    :waiting:
     
  3. EricaRie

    EricaRie TPF Noob!

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    So how do I know what I'm setting as my "focus point"
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Start with page 41 in the users manual. It's my understanding that is on the white disc that came with your camera.

    Be sure to look at page 46 too.
     
  5. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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    Look through the viewfinder and use your eyes.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, it's just amazing to me that you're relying on red icons to tell you what you're focusing on, when your EYES should be doing that.

    I'll try to be helpful, here goes.

    Put the camera in your right hand, put your left hand cupping the lens gently.

    Put the viewfinder up to your eye, look through it. Do things look sharp or fuzzy? If sharp, use your right index finger to push the big shiney round button on the top front of the grip. If fuzzy, use your left hand and gently rotate the front ring until things look sharp.

    Leave the camera in Program mode until you read more about the basics of photography (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed). This effectively makes the camera an expensive point & shoot so all you have to worry about is the focus.

    If you HAVE to use AF (auto focus, the thing that gives you the red indicators) read your manual and select one AF point, the center point. Then point the camera so that the thing you want the sharpest is dead center in the frame (looking through the view finder), half-press the shutter button (the big shiney round button), HOLD IT HALF PRESSED, and then move the camera slightly so the subject is where you want it in the frame, then FULLY press the big shiney round button.
     
  6. Geaux

    Geaux No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can also look in your viewfinder and in the lower left, there is a green dot that will light up when your point of focus is 'in focus'. You'll have to find the sweet spot though for extra sharpness, as the green dot kinda tells you when you are in the right area of focus, not exact.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The in-focus indicator will only do that if the mounted lens is a G or D type lens.

    Also be sure and use the middle focus point as it's the only one that is a cross-type focus point (which is more accurate).
     
  8. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I don't use manual focus, and the eyes are sharp. Maybe with poor lighting it makes sense to go into manual focus. In general, if you take control, and if you know what you are doing, you can get better results (usually) but not always with manaul.

    How were you focusing before? Were you letting the camera choose where in the frame to focus (auto-area)? Before you switch to manual, try this in auto...
    Use single-area focus where you choose the foucus point. As Keith said, use the center focus point. Using the center focus point focus on the eye, keep the shutter button half-pressed, then re-compose while keeping the shutter half-pressed. Once you have the composition how you like, assuming the subject did not move (and you did not move other than to slightly move your camera to re-compose) then press the button the remainder of the way to take the picture.
     
  9. EricaRie

    EricaRie TPF Noob!

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    This was most helpful. Thank you very much.
     
  10. EricaRie

    EricaRie TPF Noob!

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    next question... if I'm taking a picture of more than one subject (for example 3 people), how do I get it to make all 3 sets of eyes the "main focus"
     
  11. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

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    I don't think you would focus on the eyes in a picture like this, you would have to be further away to get 3 people in the frame and therefore use a larger focus area?
    I am a total newbie but this is my line of thought. I could be totally wrong.
     
  12. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    If you're using the 18-55VR kit lens (and the non-VR version, too, I suppose) manual focusing is kinda difficult. It's just way too touchy.
     

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